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Publication numberUS2568110 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 18, 1951
Filing dateOct 28, 1946
Publication numberUS 2568110 A, US 2568110A, US-A-2568110, US2568110 A, US2568110A
InventorsIrving Beiley
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of making glassy phosphate
US 2568110 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 18, 1951 1. BEILEY ETAL 2,568,110 METHOD OF MAKING GLASSY PHOSPHATE DETERGENT COMPOSITIONS Filed Oct. 2a, 1946 6 f 5'0 :0 50 so A I /4 /2 p S G GLA SSY PHOSPHATE SALT INVENTORS ATTORNEYS Patented Sept. 18, 1951 METHOD OF MAKING GLASSY PHOSPHATE DETERGENT COMPOSITIONS Irving Beiley, Providence, R. I., and ArthurH. Razee, Mansfield, Mass, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Hulman & Company, Inc., Terre Haute, Ind., a corporation of Indiana Application October 28, 1946, Serial No. 706,114

1 Claim. 1

This invention deals with a process, and with a class of products, in which a glassy phosphate is intimately mixed with an hydratable salt and with water, and in which these constituents are so united or bonded physically that a product of improved physical constitution is obtained, whether in solid cake or granular form. The new product is useful, for example, as a water conditioner or as a detergent, or both.

Such a composite product is in demand in order to make both the phosphate and the salt available at the point of use without separately introducing them, in order to overcome certain objectionable properties or deficiencies of the phosphate and the salt when used alone, and in order to avoid the objectionable features of a simple dry mixture of the two. Proposals have been made for the mixing of such a phosphate, a salt and water with the object of forming an agglomerated particle and some use has been made of these procedures, but without fully satisfactory results. In general these have taken the direction of adding water to mixture of the phosphate and the salt, or of adding the phosphate to a damp mass made by admixture of the salt and water.

The object here is to improve upon known processes in the field by simplifying the mixing procedure and by affording a better control of its results, and to improve upon known products in respect of keeping qualities, solubility characteristics, and uniformity of distribution of the constituents.

The term glassy phosphate is used here to define that known class of phosphate substances which have the following characteristics:

1. They are vitreous (glassy) in character, being phosphate glass; and are glassy in appearance when seen by the naked eye as beads or flakes or sheets, and also when seen through the microscope as crushed particles. They are non- I stable at ordinary temperatures, there is molecular rearrangement upon reheating yielding crystalline phosphates. (There are Various ways 2 of attaining this molecular constitution in the melt, and no limitation with respect thereto is to be implied from this description of the product.)

3. The analytical composition represented by the ratio of NazO to P205 ranges from a ratio of 1 to 1 up to a ratio of 1.5 to 1 or higher, although it is diflicult to produce a material that is completely glassy when the ratio is above 1.5 to 1. This ratio, as analytically determined, quite certainly represents the weighted average ratio for several molecular species present, and approximates that of the species which is the most frequently occurring and the formula of which is often given-to the whole glassy phosphate in question.

4. These glassy phosphates are. exemplified by the materials of commerce known as (a) sodium hexametaphosphate for which the molar ratio is approximately 1.1 to- 1 and which is sometimes represented by the formula (NaPOsle; (22-) sodium septaphosphate, for which the molar ratio is approximately 1.33 to 1 and the usual formula is Na9P'zO22; and (0) sodium tetraphosphate for which the molar ratio is approximately 1.4 to 1 and the usual formula is NaePiois. These molar ratios do not agree precisely with the ratios for the molecular compositions indicated by the single formulas commonly used, the difference being due to the presence of other species of sodium phosphate and in some degree also to the presence of a smallresidue of around 0.5% of water chemically combined as in sodium acid pyrophosphate. The corresponding compounds of other alkali metals are also known but are less commonly used. l

5. These glassy phosphates have the property of sequestering ions of calcium, magnesium and other polyvalent metals, and of deflocculating or dispersing certain solids, e. g., clay, dirt. They are commonly used in very low concentrations where use is made of these properties. They have the undesirable property in simple solution of being hydrolyzed to orthophosphate, with corresponding loss of these useful properties.

The discovery underlying the present process is that a glassy phosphate can be united with an hydratable salt in free flowing, non-caking, indiscerptible particles of homogeneous character, which are readily soluble in water and which cause both ingredients to, go into solution at a unform rate, by mixing suitable proportions of the phosphate and the salt while the glassy phosphate is in arelatively concentrated solution and the hydratable salt is in a powdery or finely divided state. When so mixed, the salt is largely or wholly hydrated by water from the solution, and the solution is thereby concentrated to a highly viscous state.

Characteristics of the new form of composite product thusFma'de are these. Its glassy phosphate content is wholly in solution, more concentrated than the initial solution and so highly viscous as to act as an amorphous solid. The salt is hydrated in large part or in whole, the part hydrated having dissolved in the solutionand crystallized out, taking water from the solution. The glassy phosphate suffers substantially less hydrolysis in this product than it would in a solution of the concentration used in making the product, this phenomenon being due apparently to the fact that in the product the glassy phosphate solution is concentrated to a degree (otherwise attainable with great difiiculty, if at all) at which hydrolysis is greatly retarded. To the extent that hydrolysis occurs, the resulting orthophosphate exists in crystalline form, having crystallized out of solution, and the phosphate not hydrolized remains as glassy phosphate in the highly concentrated solution already described. The fact that the glassy phosphate is introduced in solution form, andthat most or all of the salt goes through a solution stage, has an important effect upon the physical character of the particle that is produced, especially with respect to the minuteness of its constituents and the intimacy with which they are mingled.

The initial glassy phosphate solution is more concentrated than those in which glassy phosphates have been commonly used as a water softener, sequestering agent, deflocculating agent or for other purposes. It should contain at least about of the glassy phosphate and may contain as much as 70 to"'75%. is .from 20% to 65%.

Solutions of glassy phosphate up to 65% can be prepared without difilculty by slowly adding finely ground glassy phosphate to a body of water which is being agitated. Solutions up to 75% strength can be prepared similarly but with greater difliculty, and they require greater care and a considerably longer time. In general, the additional eflort is not warranted as no advantage is to be gained .by use of concentrations above 65%. For many purposes, a concentration of around 50 to 55% is satisfactory; and solutions of that concentration can be prepared by suspending an open-work basket of glassy phosphate beads in the water while stirring or circulating the water at a slow rate. Methods of concentration b evaporation at elevated temperatures are to be avoided because hydrolysis of the phosphate occurs rapidly at such temperatures.

The solution should not be prepared more than a few .hours before being used in the mixing step.

When in solution the glassy phosphate hydrolyzes to form orthophosphate ultimately or, intermediately, to form mixtures of the latter with pyrophosphate. The orthcphosph'ates do not have the property of sequestering ions of calcium, magnesium and the like and lack other desirable properties of the glassy phosphates, so hydrolysis should be minimized. Likewise, the solution should be kept cool, since increased temperature promotes hydrolysis. We prefer even to prepare the solution in a jacketed vessel so that the heat of solution may be removed by the use of cooling water.

There is ordinarily no preparatory step necessary for the hydratable salt that is to be mixed The preferred range I with the glassy phosphate solution, since the only requirement as to its physical state is that the salt be in powdery or finely divided form and it usually comes to hand in that form. It should not be hydrated to any considerable extent, but the small degree of hydration that 'is sometimes found to exist in commercial products supposedly anhydrous can be tolerated.

The mixing step is carried out in any of several familiar types of stirring mixer, of either the batch or the continuous variety, capable of agitating and intimately mixing powdery solids with a viscous liquid and capable of continued stirring of the resulting mass. The agitation need not be violent, but should be uniform over the whole mass in order to bring about uniform and intimate contact of the salt particles with the solution.

It is preferable to add the solution gradually to the finely divided salt over a period of several minutes while the salt is undergoing agitation. Where the solution is at or near the low end of the stated range of concentration, and therefore relatively less viscous, and where the proportion of salt to be mixed with it is relatively low, it is a feasible alternative to add the salt to the solution while the latter is being agitated.

The time of mixing is short in any case, that is, around fifteen or twenty minutes. -lit varies with the character of the associated salt and with the proportions of phosphate, salt and water. The end point is fixed in any case by observation of the condition of the mass. In the case of a mixture of relatively low water content, the mixing may be continued to the point where the mass consists entirely of discrete particles which in the practical sense are solid, thereby giving directly a granular product without unduly prolonged mixing. Fines and any particles larger than the desired size can be removed by screening, as known.

Where the total water content of the mix is relatively high, the agitation may be halted while the mass is still a slurry, but thoroughly mixed to a homogeneous state, and the slurry may be run out into shallow containers and allowed to set into a cake which then may be crushed or ground to form the discrete particles; or it may be used in cake form. Screening to size may be employed in this case also, where the cake is crushed or ground.

An advantage of this process, from the standpoint of operating conditions during mixing, is that the mass does not reach as high a temperature as is reached in former processes. For example, starting with a glassy phosphate solution and hydratable soda ash at room temperature, and adding the solution to the soda ash while the latter was being agitated, a maximum temperature of 35 C. was observed; whereas a temperature of was observed when the same phosphate was added to a preliminary mix of soda ash and water, and 50 C. was observed when water was added to a preliminary dry mix of the same phosphate and soda ash. The lower temperature of the present process minimizes hydrolysis of the phosphate and therefore gives a better control of the product.

A general characteristic of products made by 7 this process is that the glassy phosphate content of the particle is wholly in solution. Former processes left a considerable part of the phosphate as separate undissolved particles which, whether or not united with the salt in particles, brought about undesirable effects. First, a redistribution of the water tended to occur as the product aged because the phosphate drew water from the salt; and especially where the mixture was made as a dry mix of phosphate and hydrated salt, this resulted in caking. Second, when the mixture was used, for example, as .a water conditioner or detergent, the undissolved phosphate particlesdissolved more slowly than the other ingredients and became available to perform their ofiice as a sequestering or dispersing agent only after the other ingredients had become "effective, or even after some of the other ingredients had been consumed. With the present product, where the glassy phosphate is wholly in solution, the phosphate and the salt go into solution at the point of use at substantially the same rate and therefore become available concurrently and in proper proportions in the solution.

jlFurther, in this product, the glassy phosphate is'in a uniform state of dispersion with respect to the water in virtue of being wholly in solution. Several advantages result. The hygroscopicity or vapor pressure of the product is uniform through the mass and can be controlled by the proportions of phosphate, water and hydratable salt that are used whereas in known products,

this property is not so uniform and varies with thedegree of mixing and resulting distribution of the water, and varies with time because of redistribution of water and possible localized excess proportions which tend to promote caking. All constituents of the present product are much more uniformly distributed, more minutely. di-

videdand more intimately dispersed among one another; whereas former composite particles were .agglomerates of rather coarse sub-particles. In

short, this new product attains to the fullathe advantages sought in making a non-hygroscopic,

I non-caking, free-flowing, indiscerptible composite product. l

This. process, characterized by the use 015 2.

.solution of the glassy phosphate as one element of the mix, is susceptible of use with a considerable variety of anhydrous salts as a step in making solid composite products which physically unite the phosphate and the salt in the product. ."The salt must be one which will take up water from the phosphate solution, leaving thephosphate concentrated to a degree such that for practical purposes it acts as a solid constituent in the product in the presence of the hydrated salt .and any remaining anhydrous salt. Withinthis limit, the user has a considerable choiceyand may use one or more such salts in the mix depending on the character of product desired. It would also be a use of our process pro tanto, although in our view a less eifective use of it, ""if after mixing the solution with the salt a minor addition of dry phosphate should be made to the mix. Nor does the process exclude the addition of wetting agents or' other special purpose ingredients, either to the initial solution or to the initial salt or to the mass undergoing agitation.

In general, such additives are non-hydratable described above is in making products in which a glassy phosphate is united in a composite product '6 withon'eor more of a group of 'four hydratable salts having good detergent properties. We thus make an improved form of household or industrial detergent having water conditioning and deflocculatingpropertiesl These hydratable salts include (a) sodium carbonate, NazCOs; (b) so diumcarbonate and sodium bicarbonate, NaIlCOa, in proportions to form the sesquicarbonate NazCOa. NaHCOaZHzO when hydrated; (fc) disodium hydrogen phosphate Nazi-IP04; and 1(a) sodium triphosphate, NasPzoio. Of these, the triphosphate has ion sequestering properties andis especially compatible with the glassy phosphates. Mixtures of these salts may also be used and are to be understood here as being included in the term salt. In particular, we find it desirable to use a mixture of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate with more soda ash than needed to form the sesquicarbonate hydrate. e

The range of compositions for these product s'is shown in the accompanying I triangular chart which is to be read in the light of the following description of the significance of its various points and lines. 7

On this chart, each point represents the percentage composition of a three component mixture, viz., glassy phosphate, hydratable salt (anhydrous basis) and total ,water, including both water of 'hydration'and water of solution. Percentages of the phosphate are read from the lefth'and margin [-0 to the opposite apex P; thoseof the salt from the right hand margin II to the apex S; and those of water from the'bas e 2 to the apex W. Points along any of the margins represent mixtures of the two components; for example, the right hand margin ll represents mixtures of glassy phosphate and water, ranging from 100% water (at apex W) to 100% phosphate (at apex P). In like fashion, the'fcomposition of the hydrates of the salts maybe represented by points on'the left-hand margin, L

With reference to the process, the right-hand margin l I represents the solutionof glassy phosphate which is mixed with the hydratable salt. A line drawn from any point on this margin (representing aparticular solution) to the opposite apex S therefore represents all of the'r'nixtures which can be made of that solution with the anhydrous hydratable salt; and conversely, if the desired mixture is known, a line from, apex s through the point representingfthat desired ternary mixture will cut the margin I I atthe point representing the solution that shouldjbe used for that mixture. The area representing the various mixtures of glassy phosphate, soda ash and water for which this solution process is useful is substantially that bounded by lines A, B, C, and D, the significance and determinants of each of which will now be stated.

Lines A and D are drawn from ,the apex S to the points on margin l l representing glassy phosphate solutions of 75% and 9% concentration respectively. Since these two values represent the practical limits of the initial solutions which are useful in the process, the area between these lines represents the whole possible range of comi positions which can be made by mixture of the nameclsalts with solutions lying between those values. Other limitations further define the useful part of thistotal area in the making of solid products.v I

The upper limit of about glassy phosphate concentration in the initial solution, determining line A, is fixed by a considerationpf feasibilee uitenea tete d ielee iep. ale ti e i ek eee eeviaaeom leewe e .v qn .1 9: e eeett i iei fi e ee permeelnd 47 is, e a eqeeeeee re nneede rrem ln .thelimitin olidptoduct-representedhy;point 'M, the determinants of w hieh are descrihed be- 1 9?- h eeimde r .13 i the e re ne d b e El re eex ie ehr n Mat th m rai t which it strihesatabout the-.9.% point. Since I??? h 59 i i ni l qfi fa i i n f P M precise, as will be seen from whatiollows, the-line pes drawn is likewisenot an absotuterlimit, and 1,

the minimum coneentration of-the-solgltionto he n' sedtmay therefore varytrorn 91% as the deter- :Qliflafili d e e Thi v e -we a' la ehee et i t?! 'b fi 5 t Werpw 51:31 to useinitiatsolutions of-20% pr higher giving imiX- u' eeee i ihr h 9 i l J dra iie me e l 0% Pa n -Ze m g sa 1 a P efe re ee aim m wat \retie e ab ,4;,t o -1. Y

A first limitation ,beyond ?that v fixed by the itele e i e z eliit n -i m s d b th ,content of glassy phosphate and of salt ,that it is feasible to incorporate in ,a composite produot of the sort :in uestion. Ihe purpose ibeing ,to obtain ,to -some eifective degree the partieiiler awn e- @Wfii p q b eee .eeli L netituen these min a ar n j i iee linlvelue are subject individual vpreference ,0,1 need. therefore lfix .thexninimum for ,each of these tituentsat aboutl% and on thephant this 7 ,is represented ;.by .lines'B .and .D,-2 which are .at the lines of 5% salt :and 5% lassy phosphate. :Ifhe intersectionspf these ,lines with th o u n lines Aan 9 th f-further defin the area .of useful compoeitions. -We prefer to pee substantially higher contents of both constituentfs, ,and of necessity .we do not use both in their minimum quantities. In general, the glassy phosphate content is at least 1 0. and is preferabl g e but e exeeedir a u fer i'e ason s given below; ,while the sa1 t'G9nt Qnt is 2% or more, and preferably is the major con- ,uerit' pr i a ee er w i e u th imi t area ofusefiil products is the water content, the ,phief consideration being that the product shall be 5 s li 'l-"e wete in the P edu t i di itrip uted between water of hydration, which is rembv'jed from any quefying ,eflect because the i 'drates arelcrys' tallinesolids, andwater of solurwhi'cl'ican b la sub tantial proportion bese of the Iyfery high yisoosity of the' nore highis "fconent rated solutions of glassy phosphate. Thefinal determinant ,of water content thererare ,the effeot of the water remaining in the fso lntionflof glassy phosphate afiter the ,hydrate forming capacity of the'salt has been exhausted. l ibi r ai W u i n l' il fil a h h vi coueselut emn th ee e f 9 9 8 ai If t Ree e-Pete iee vt ei ne the P e om tlieven -sligjht ininep eenei tu nt t e od :w e a soli :i th reetiee sens nv. r .f fhe e 02 -.-e.i er i en excl d an u t h v n -o ,e.n e Welte a l a h a h he el mi r ,the, case of sodagash, which has ,a higher. ,capa eity for taking .up water. of hydration, ,than ,in {the t case .pfthe three other salts.

For the mixture containing soda ash as the only or vthe predominant -salt component, the upper boundarypf the area inquestion, represented by,line C, is therefore fixedby aveonsideration 0f the solidity of the, product, in the praetioal senseeof,forrning either cakes or smalhpartieles e el u t ni n sh em plast or; pasty, and have no .material tendency .to co1 npress ,or to stick together. Compositions lying jahove lin a e harac e ze b i reasin l s of these propertiesof solidity as the watercpntent increases, and range from the plastic or semisolid to theslurry state. Hence line C marks in substance thefinal boundary. of theearea in whieh .the ,process is useful .in making solid vproducts. {Ihere is.howei er no sharp linebetween products ewhich are desirable from this standpoint of. sol i dity andkthose whichare not, and some element of individual preference enters. The preferred boundary is close toca line connecting points 5M flandN, that is, point M representing.5 0%.of-.wa-

ter and the minimum of 5% phosphate (45% salt) and point N representing 30% .of water and theminimumof 5% salt 65% phosphate). The lower total ,water content necessary withthe lower salt contentreflects the .factthat .with;spch mixtures the product consiststo a greatenexent of the phosphate solution rather than of the crystalline solid salt. Also, withlesssalt there ,is less oapacity, for. binding .water .in hydrate form ,where it does not have a .liquefyingeffect. 'Ifhe total water must therefore ,be less to ,assure that thephosphatesolution will .be sufficiently ve icnm ate and h fer uf i i t y .r scou to give, with the crystalline solids, .a solid product.

'Within the preferred limits for theGQnQentration of the initial glassy phosphate so1ution',(lin es A-l and DJ) thereis noside boundary ,3 in as much as the 65% solution line :(A-J) intersects the line C at point NT], where the salt pontentexceeds the 5 .minimum of line ,B. ,At theother side, line C is intersected at point M? by the line D-T-I, the 20% solution line; so withthe preferred range of initial solutions the upper boundary extends from Me-l to .N-...l but still defined by line C.

[The minimum phosphate content, together .with the considerations of solidity which ,fix line C, combine to determine point M which ,representsthe maximum water content fora desirable solid product containing this low phosphate .eontent; and this point M in turn fixes the minimum initial solution ofabout 9% as already described.

It will be noted that with the preferred miniphosphate solution of 20% concentration, it is not possible ,to make mixtures with as .lowas 5% phosphate except in the region of the higher salt contents, 7. and above, as shown .by Jlhe fact that line DJ (the 20% solution line) lies to the right of boundary D2 in the region above the line of 75% salt. Hence, for the preferred range of initial solutions, the left-hand boundary is marked by line D2 fora part of the area and by D--l for the rest.

The foregoing description of the area (range of m tu be nd d b l nes B CD on the eherfi and he re e ble area further eflnesl'b 9 lines 11-4 and D-l and 13-2, covers the use of the process where soda ash is the hydratable salt to be mixed with the glassy phosphate. For the other salts, viz., (a) soda ash and sodium bicarbonate in proportions such as to form the sesquicarbonate when hydrated, (b) disodium hydrogen phosphate, and sodium triphosphate, there is a narrower range of mixtures that,

is useful in making a solid cake or solid particle product. The reason for this difference is illustrated by the case of soda ash which forms a septa-hydrate having a relatively high capacity for binding water in the crystal. It therefore permits a higher total water content in the composite product without loss of solidity. A consideration of vapor pressure equilibria would indictate that while this septa-hydrate might be formed transiently, only the monohydrate would be. formed ultimately. We find however that solid products can be made in the region of the septa-hydrate, a fact which we ascribe to a failure. to attain equilibrium. Of the other three salts, the sesquicarb'onate and the triphosphate form only. lower hydrates. In the case of the disodium hydrogen phosphate, we find that solid products can be made only in the region of the di:hydrate. These three salts have a substantially lower capacity for taking water from the solution, and therefore their mixtures require a lower limit on the total water content. This limit again is not critical for any given salt and phosphate content, since there is no sharp line betweenthe solid andthe non-solid state. We find it desirable, fromthe standpoint of making a commercially acceptable solid product with these three salts, to limit the maximum water content to a range embracing a few points either side of 20% and generally not exceeding 25%. As among the sesquicarbonate, disodium hydrogen phosphate, and the triphosphate, the last permits use of a somewhat higher water content. Its hydrate, NasPaOmfiI-IzO, has a Water content of 22.6% on a weight basis as compared with 20.2% for the disodium hydrogen phosphate and 16% for the sesquicarbonate, and therefore it withdraws relatively more water from the solution. This limiting value of about 20% is not greatly different for different contents of salt and phosphate, within any limits of significance in relation to solidity, and we therefore represent it by the line E on the chart, drawn at the line of 20% water as an approximation to be taken in connection with the directly observable solidity of the product. This gives the area bounded by lines A, E and D--2 as substantially the range of compositions for these three salts.

Within the preferred range of initial solutions the area is further narrowed, being represented substantially by lines A- l, E and D-2,. We do not however exclude a water content somewhat higher than 20% where in virtue of its content of crystalline solid in relation to its content of viscous amorphous glassy phosphate, the product isa solid in the practical sense. Furthermore, mixture of these salts with soda ash permits the inclusion of still more water.

It is not necessary. that the salt be entirely hydrated. The watertends to distribute itself in such a Way as to establish a vapor pressure equilibrium between the hydrate and the glassy phosphate solution, but it is evident that equilibrium is not always attained. There may be some anhydrous salt in the product after considerable aging, especially with total water contents near the minimum values given, but this does not adversely affect either the solidity or the use properties'of the product.

From-the foregoing one can summarize the limits for use of the process in making solid products with the four named hydratable salts as follows:

With the sodium sesquicarbonate, disodium.

hydrogen phosphate and sodium triphosphate,

the total water content is such as to give a solid product and, as described, is at or below about 20%. Its lower limit is expressed in terms of the ratio of'water to glassy phosphate, viz., the ratio of 1 to 3 for an initial solution of 75% concentration, and the ratio of about 1 to 2 for the preferred maximum concentration of 65% for theinitial phosphate solution. The content of glassy phosphate ranges from about 5% to about 60%,

this upper limit being represented by point E where lines A and E intersect; or for the preferable initial solutions, by the point F--l (about.

37% phosphate with the preferred water to phosphate ratio of 1 to 2) where lines Al and E intersect. The salt content ranges from about. 5%

to about 93% (point G) for the preferred initial solutions it is insubstantially different within any limits that determine the salt content as a prac- In'practice, the upper limit will Since the upper tical matter. usually be less than 90%. limit for both the salt and the phosphate con tent is determined by the range of water con-j tent (points G and F or F| the whole area or range of compositions for these three salts is is wider. The water content at its lower limit:

is defined as before in terms of the ratio of water to glassy phosphate, that is, the ratio of 1 to 3 (line A) or preferably 1 to 2 (line Al) and its upper limit (line C) varies from about 30% for the minimum salt content (point N) to about for the minimum phosphate content (point M). For the preferable range of initial solutions, the upper limit varies from about 32% for the minimum salt content to about 47 to 48% for the minimum phosphate content. The glassy. phosphate ranges from the same minimum of about 5% to a maximum of about 70% (or for the preferable initial solutions, about 65%) fixed by the minimum salt and water. The salt.

content ranges from about 5% to a maximum of about or slightly more fixed by the-mini;

mum phosphate and water. Hence, again, the

phosphate and salt contents are more simply defined by their minima and by the range of water content (already defined) which fixes their maxima.

It will be understood that these ranges strictly only where the mixture contains only.

the salt, the glassy phosphate and the Water, Ifany other solid materials are added, they can be ignored in determining the proportions among "ii A It should be observed'also' that the-mama definition is in terms of anhydrous" salt." In practice, the hydratable salt used in'making the mixture will be found at times to-be' already hya drate d to some slight degree as it comes to 'ha'nd inbrdin'ary commercial supply. Any substantial degree of pre-hydration either requires an un duly low content of very concentrated glassy phosphate solution, or at worst hasfso little capacityfor removing water from the solution as tole'ave a liquid or plastic mixture. The use of scen starting material is to be avoided. However, except whe'n'working at or near the boundary C, or in aiming to obtain a precise composition, a small degree of pre-hydrati'o'n may' be" disregarded in selecting the' initial phosphate" selution since its e'fie'ctis merely to shift thcom position slightly within the permissible area; In

sueh'fcases; where a' small difieren'ce in" total water contentmay be of consequence, anywater' initially present as water of hydration th'e' saltfshoiild be allowed for by using a phosphate solution giving" al correspondingly" lower water content Within the stated range'. Y

One further factor needing" consideration is theeffect ofhydrolysis upon the product composition as initially made'accbrdin'gio thefore going, the hydrolysis here considered 'being that which occurs as the product ages. The eife'ct'of hydrolysis is to convert apart of thejglass'y'phos phate into ortho-phosphate with some reduction inithe total water content. any" particular stag'e'of hydrolysis, there mayalsobe somepyro phosphate as an intermediate product, but'it" thelproductis not materially changedby the changein watercont'ent Considering all effects, thenet effect is to enhance rather than to impair the solidityof theproduct, so from that standpoint hydrolysis is 'not objectionable.

The undesirable efiect' of hydrolysisis usually expressed in terms of the reduction in calcium sequestering value. Whatever method of determining that value': is used; we find that the most significant expression of "the hydrolysisefiec't is theratio of the calcium sequestering'value of the aged product in question to the similarly determined value of afreshly'made simple mechanical mixture of the same relative quantities 'ofthe hydr'atablesalt and the glassy'phosphate. With products which"the' glassy phosphate 'is' incorporated for its sequestering action, the factorofhydrolysis is important and bears on the selection 'ofthe'compo'sition to be used in' attaining the desired final product quality;

We find that, in general, increase in the content'of glassy phosphate within the'range described above in which the process is useful is accompanied by an increase of hydrolysis in the product; The increase appears to be somewhat less for products of lower total 'water content. With'reference to the triangular chart, hydrol ysis' increases with initial' mixtures approaching the boundary Band appears to'be somewhat 'less' near the boundary A or A-l 'than" it 'is'hear the boundary C. Thus a sample having a glassy the ratio described above; while, one 01340921;

e c 4 l i2). "1, LL. ins-s, phosphate content'of %,twith 3,.%..0f ,watelir and 30% of soda ash ,(anhydrousflbasislshowed, a relative calcium value of.\55%, as'expressedeby,

glassy phosphate, with. 21%;. water1and-393Zm 10= dium triphosphate, showeduaflrelative .calcimn; value of 68%. Both sampleswere. in thejregion of very substantial hydrolysis, in marked '..con-.

, trast tothe region around 20 to,25%,glassyiphos;

phate where the relative .wcalciumyvalue of aged products runs aroun'd80.% or higher. It is.note-... worthy however that thehydrolysis in allscasesf is less than that which would occur the ab;

lsence of the hydratable salt, that isjwithlthe phosphate solution alone;' and it isless'ithaln'lwould occur with. the same mixture. preparedbyi methods which do not give the uniformity which characterizes theproducts of this'new solution l process.

From the product standpoint, the significance, of hydrolysis is therefore chiefly tointroduce (a1 factor'which, within the area in which the processv is useful, puts a further practical limit on the? initial phosphate content of, the product.-- To.

avoid undue waste of glassy'phos'phate; 'itsinitiall content should be held to a' maxir'numof'abdutg 45'%, 'represerited"by line'Kioh thecharti .We prefer to employ from about 15% w shout-25%; of glassy phosphate,- with about 10% to'45 %"ofl water and about 35'% to 75% ofsodaas'hjth higher Salt content beingaecompanied' by a"1owei;. water content. ln'the case" of the other thre'ef hydratable salts,' the preferre'd 'gla's'sy" phosphate range of about 15% to25 %'is used 'with'w'aterj rrb'm about 10 to 25%"and Salt from about 50%" 0075a,: p These preferred products have 'all of th' ad vantages already stated whichres'ult from-the solution 'proc'e'ss' and its characteristic of leavin'e the glassy phosphate cornpb'nent wholly in' sol'u' tion. i

This product dissl'tes without forming" trie viscous difidcultly' miseible ia'y rj charate'rist'ici f glassy phosphates alone and di'ss'c3lves' muh' more quickly. The phosphate and the salt'jconi'poh'rits:

go nto solution uniformly; as there 'sno undissolved iphosphate'j to may; the dissolution of the wholeand ,let the? salt :become' effective be forethe phosphatebecomes efi'ect'i'vel 'Ih'e"parti cles are of uniform composition throughout the: mass, and thisiu iii'formity is 'fo'u'nd to exist matter how finely the particlesafrefisub-dividedf'f the mixture appear to bej in'discerptiblel The; particle product is freeflo'wilngand does notc'alze under normal or even unusuar'amiosezierie ce g diti onsf Thes'jproducts" suffer" only a relatively small; ycllrol'ysiis" loss and even 1 after managed aging" have effective water c'onolitioni'ri professues 1m addition to their f detergent properties:

A particular detergent'produgit which ex'm plifies this preferred group is one made'w'ith' 3 5 eas by weight of a 51% solution 'orc o'iimercfar sodium" tetraphos'phate" hav ng a moi ratio of 1.4"Na'zO'to 1 P205. This" solutidn'is addedte'a" dry mixture of 45 parts of'anhydroussodi um carbonate'and' 15 parts of anhydrous sodium 'bicarbonate while'the mixtureisbeing" stirred} ive parts'of a liquid wetting' agfeht,"containing 40%"01 Z partsof water, is likewisea'dded dii' he the i i i -"i qfiii e fr about, '20 112 utes including the period of about 5j miniit's in which the tetraphqsphatesolution is' added', The mass is allowed to set to afriabl cake whih 5; 0'1 he'd" or ground to" farm 'ag'i an'ulai prodded with screening to size if desired.

This product as initially made has 17 parts of water. This divides between water of solution and water of hydration, and forms two hydrates, sodium sesquicarbonate and the monohydrate of sodium carbonate. Assuming complete hydration of the salts, its initial composition, with its salt expressed in terms of hydrate, is Na2COaH2O, 30.4%; NazCO3.NaHCO3.2H2O, 40.4%; solid wetting agent, 3%; and tetraphosphate solution 26.2%, having a concentration of about 76%. Its total salt content, on a hydrate basis, is 70.8% which is equivalent, on the basis of water of hydration capacity, to slightly over 73% Na2C0s.HzO, illustrating the fact that for purposes of charting, this mixed salt may be treated as substantially equivalent to the single salt soda ash alone. On an anhydrous basis, the mixed salt (soda ash and bicarbonate) is about 60% of the total, equivalent to about 62% of soda ash alone. On this basis, the initial composition of this product, with the salt expressed on the anhydrous basis and the solid wetting agent either omitted from the total or put with the salt, may be stated and charted with sufiicient accuracy as having 20% of sodium tetraphosphate, 63% of salt and 17% of water.

This product, upon aging, suffers a loss of only about in calcium value; and therefore remains highly effective as a water conditioner as well as a detergent.

In applying the foregoing definitions of the full ranges and of the preferred ranges to an aged product that has undergone hydrolysis and upon analysis shows some orthophosphate, it makes no material difference whether the orthophosphate is classed with the salt, expressed on an anhydrous basis, or whether the orthophosphate is excluded from consideration and the composition of the remaining glassy phosphate, salt and water is taken for comparison. The composition will not be identical on the two bases, but the difference will not be significant from the viewpoint of conformity to the area here defined. In general, the effect of hydrolysis on the composition of the basic ternary system is to shift its proportions so that the point representing it on the chart is displaced to the left, but is still within the substantial limits of the defined area. In some instances, this basis of expressing the effect may put the point above line E or line C as those lines are fixed for a solid product consisting of these three basic constituents alone, but the product will still be within the substantial limit because of being still a solid in virtue of the crystalline orthophosphate. When the orthophosphate is classed with the salt as a part of the crystalline solid constituent, the composition will differ chiefly in showing a higher content of salt and a lower content of glassy phosphate, with but little change in the water content, so the point representing it on the chart will be displaced to the left with little vertical displacement. In like fashion, any content of pyrophosphate shown by analysis is most simply classed with the glassy phosphate content; although with no significant difference its content may be set aside and the composition of the remainder may be taken for comparison with the substance of the ranges as here defined.

We claim:

The process of making a detergent product comprising an indiscerptible mixture of uniformly dispersed glassy phosphate and detergent salt, which comprises bringing the glassy phosphate, while in water solution of about from 20% to concentration, into intimate admixture with substantially hydratable, finely divided, sodium carbonate, the glassy phosphate content of the three component mixture being between about 5% and about 45%, the salt content being between about 20% and about (anhydrous basis), and the water content being limited to give a solid product and not exceeding about 50%.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,604,126 Kern Oct. 26, 1926 1,979,926 Zinn Nov. 6, 1934 2,024,543 Smith Dec. 17, 1935 2,365,190 Hatch Dec. 19, 1944 2,382,165 McMahon Aug. 14, 1945 2,493,809 Garrison Jan. 10, 1950 2,494,828 Munter Jan. 17, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 20,884 Great Britain 1901 OTHER REFERENCES Schwartz and Munter: Ind. and Eng. Chem, Jan. 1942, vol. 34, No. 1, pages 32-39.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2904513 *Apr 16, 1954Sep 15, 1959Monsanto ChemicalsInorganic phosphate compositions, and methods for the preparation and utilization thereof
US4113644 *Nov 11, 1975Sep 12, 1978Ashcraft William RProtected glassy phosphate detergent additive
US4171277 *Mar 31, 1978Oct 16, 1979Joh. A. Benckiser GmbhGranulated composition comprising a polymer phosphate and an alkali metal aluminum silicate, process of making and method of using same
US4288340 *Oct 2, 1978Sep 8, 1981Joh. A. Benckiser GmbhGranulated composition comprising a polymer phosphate and an alkali metal aluminum silicate, process of making and method of using same
US4308158 *May 7, 1979Dec 29, 1981Hoechst AktiengesellschaftDetergent and cleaning compositions containing polymeric phosphate builders
US4394358 *Sep 17, 1981Jul 19, 1983Hoechst AktiengesellschaftProduction of granular alkali metal diphosphates or triphosphates
US4394359 *Sep 18, 1981Jul 19, 1983Hoechst AktiengesellschaftProcess for making granulated condensed phosphates
US6541443Aug 17, 1999Apr 1, 2003The Procter & Gamble CompanyMultifunctional detergent materials
EP0048435A1 *Sep 16, 1981Mar 31, 1982Hoechst AktiengesellschaftProcess for the preparation of granular condensed phopsphates
U.S. Classification510/534, 252/175
Cooperative ClassificationC11D3/062